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Cigar Review: Headley Grange Black Lab LE 2018

Headley Grange Black Lab LE 2018




Last November Crowned Heads announced a new limited edition extension under its Headley Grange brand called the Headley Grange Black Lab Limited Edition 2018.

Crowned Heads produced a limited-edition size extension in their Headley Grange brand back in 2013.

The HG 2013 LE Drum Stick, a Lancero with a pigtail cap measuring 7 ½ x 38.

Quite an appropriate name for the edition since the Headley Grange line was inspired by the iconic drum beat of John Bonham in “When The Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin. 



The Crowned Heads booth at the 2018 IPCPR, Las Vegas NV.



We spoke with Jon Huber of Crowned Heads about the project via e-mail, he told Cigar Smoke “Headley Grange Black Lab LE 2018 was really a fun project to produce.

I already knew going into it how that Connecticut Habano wrapper performed on the original Headley Grange blend, as we’ve been doing an exclusive for Santa Clara (JR Cigar) called Headley Grange Black Dog since 2016.

Despite a lukewarm response from online cigar media when we launched it, Ernesto (Perez-Carrillo) and I believed whole-heartedly in that blend.

So fast forward a couple years later, I wanted to do somewhat of a ‘redux’ on the blend and so we took it, trunk-pressed it and —VOILA— Black Lab was born.

It’s funny to me now how I’m seeing a completely different reaction to Lab in that nearly all reviews I’ve seen/read have been overwhelmingly positive. Go figure”.

He also said “The addition of the closed-foot was something I wanted to explore with Lab.

I always felt that the CT Habano wrapper has a really unique and excellent flavor (we also utilize it on Four Kicks Maduro) and this was a way for us to actually showcase that taste.

Upon lighting a Black Lab, the initial couple of puffs will give the smoker a true taste of that leaf before settling into the overall profile of the blend.”




Available Headley Grange Sizes:

  • Corona Gorda: 5.6 x 46
  • Dobles (Toro): 6.1 x 50
  • Drumstick LE 2017 Lancero: 7.5 x 38
  • Eminentes (Corona): 5.2 x 44
  • Estupendos (Toro): 5.5 x 52
  • Hermoso #4: 5.0 x 48
  • Laguito No. 6 (Toro): 6.5 x 56
  • Black Lab LE 2018: 6 x 52

Headley Grange Black Dog JR Cigar Exclusive

  • Estupendos: 5.5 × 52
  • Laguito No. 6: 6.5 × 56
  • Dobles: 6.12 × 50






The Connecticut Habano Maduro wrapper has the color of a piece of beef jerky, not the taste but the appearance.

Box-pressed at 6 x 52 with heavy tooth, vein and seam it has an extended shaggy square foot with a semi-rounded triple cap.

Two bands sit on the vitola, the primary band is an identifiable HG logo with “HEADLEY GRANGE” in white font with “REPŪBLICA DOMINICANA” in gold font on a glossy black background with gold accents.

The secondary band denotes the name of the LE cigar with “BLACK LAB” in black font on a gold band with black accents.

Pre-light aroma had notes of chocolate, cedar and a hint barnyard. 

Very little resistance on the cold draw producing flavors of malt, damp earth and leather spice on the palate.







An aroma of chocolate brownies off the toasted foot.

The first few draws brings wrapper only flavors that are distinctly nutty, most notable raw oily walnuts.

Initial flavors of cedar char and leather.

The blend settles with an ease of flavors producing milk chocolate, coffee and hazelnut.

The background profile brings nuances of rich cedar and assorted roasted nuts balancing in with light black pepper.

A mild sting of white pepper on the retro-hale with a long finish of cinnamon spice.




In the second half flavors of milk chocolate, coffee and hazelnut with an up front appearance of rich cedar.

Background flavors remain consistent with assorted roasted nuts such as almonds and oily walnuts.

The spicy element is in the form of MILD black table pepper balancing in with all aforementioned flavors.

An immediate sting of MED white pepper on the retro-hale producing a long finish of brown sugar char and cinnamon spice.




In the final third the HG Black Lab LE has remained consistent and balanced with core flavors of milk chocolate, coffee, rich cedar and creamy hazelnut.

The background profile is filled with roasted almonds and oily raw walnuts.

The spicy element of black table pepper has almost dissipated, however present and light keeping the vitola at a strength level of MEDIUM.

Retro-hale for days producing a mild sting of white pepper with a long finish of brown sugar char similar cinnamon spice.




• CONSTRUCTION: The construction of the box-pressed vitola was solid. No palpable soft spots, cracks or blemishes. The squared shaggy foot gave the HG LE “BLACK LAB” a bit of a rustic look.


• BURN: The shaggy foot produced a few seconds of wrapper only flavor with immediate combustion. The three examples smoked for review had slightly off burn lines, of which all self corrected in the final third.


• ASH: The salt and pepper colored ash produced a loose stack of dimes and held to an inch before loosely tapping off.


• CUT: Except for the example used for media all were straight cut, the example used for photography was V-Cut and produced a heavy amount of tar on the cap that disappeared after a straight Re-cut.


• DRAW: Minimal resistance from the covered foot that transitioned to wide open after 5-6 wrapper only draws.


• RE-LIGHTS: A few re-lights were required on two examples in the final third. All re-lights were done with cedar matches preserving the flavor profile.


• FIRE: Long cedar matches.


• STRENGTH: Straight MEDIUM bodied wheelhouse.




Crowned Heads drew inspiration for the project from Led Zepplin’s “Black Dog.”

The word is called Onomatopoeia and is defined as “The imitation of sound” that’s what Jon Huber had in mind when he let Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr listen to the steady, heavy sound of John Bonham’s drums recorded at Headley Grange.

Musically inspired the HG BLACK LAB LE 2018 was in the MEDIUM bodied wheelhouse and produced consistent flavors of earthy woody nuances with a complement of coffee, chocolate and hazelnut suitable with morning coffee, evening libations and everything in between.





Cigar reviewed: Headley Grange Black Lab LE 2018 from Crowned Heads

Cigars for review: Purchased

Cigars smoked for review: 3 

Cigar Smoke Rate: 92

Size: 6 x 52 (Box Press)

Wrapper: Connecticut Habano Maduro

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic

Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza

Photos by: Cigar Smoke


Toar Campbell

Love of all things cigars, craft beer, Stouts, IPA's (any beer). Follow me on Untappd @Toar Campbell. Writer, reviewer, founder
Toar Campbell

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